"Hunchback of Notre Dame" -- safe to buy?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jim Harvey, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. Jim Harvey

    Jim Harvey Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was wondering if it's safe to buy the current Disney DVD of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, or does Disney have plans to re-release it as a two disc edition? I've been really looking forward to buying the original (screw that terrible sequel), and I was hoping if anyone knew the inside track on this DVD, or possible future releases.
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    40,219
    Likes Received:
    6,668
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Cannot give you a definitive answer about plans for a bigger release of HoND, Jim...but the current release is quite fine. The DTS track is one of my favorites. I don't have a large, high-end display, but the transfer looks great on my 26" WS HDTV. And, the commentary track is also first rate.

    I'd guess with planned releases of Aladdin, Bambi and Cinderella to deal with, a new release of HoND is not going to be a priority for BVHV.
     
  3. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    3
    I concur - the DTS track is virtually identical to the DTS laserdisc edition, and sounds stunning.
     
  4. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,713
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have both the DVD and DTS LD. The DTS LD sounds much more intense and lush to me.

    The PQ on the DVD is not that great IMHO. It's definitely not a direct from CAPS digital-to-digital transfer as their newer DVDs are. There is quite a bit of video and/or film noise and grain throughout giving the whole thing a very gritty, grungy look... as if this had been an older, non-HD mastered, poorly compressed, dusted off the shelf version they quickly packaged up (just like The Rescuers Down Under with a similar poor PQ); it probably was.

    I truly was disappointed in the DVD as this is one of Disney's rare stabs at a more adult oriented film than most of their fare, and one of my favorites (of course, it could have done without the comic relief and side-kicks, but given the politics at Disney I'm not surprised).

    Hopefully, Disney will stop treating this film like a bastard stepchild and give it a great transfer soon.

    Dan
     
  5. Jim Harvey

    Jim Harvey Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, would this be a safe purchase? I have been so tempted to pick it up, but the price has gone down some on it, and I think I might have to jump on it before too long.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    40,219
    Likes Received:
    6,668
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Not exactly sure what you mean by "safe", but I'd get it before it goes back in the vault, and enjoy it!!!

    What's the worse that could happen? They release an SE (probably not for a few more years at the earliest!) and you pass along the first release to a relative or friend as a gift or sell it to a used DVD shop to recoup some of your "loss". But I wouldn't say a few years of enjoying a film you apparently like quite a lot a "loss".
     
  7. Josh Simpson

    Josh Simpson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't even know you could still find this title. I guess I haven't really looked closely for it. I say pick it up!
     
  8. I've been looking around for Hunchback and Hercules, but without much luck.

    Mall stores still have the occasional copy...for $27.99!

    Used copies are few and far between.

    Think Hunchback is 16x9, while Hercules is LBX (but apparently a 'good' LBX transfer).

    Too bad the Hunchback transfer is apparently sub-standard...

    Since these came out in 1998-99 (?) I don't think Disney will revisit, unless DVD format survives longer than expected.

    Isn't the 'vault' a 10-year deal?

    ===========================

    I did spend $15 on used copy of Tarzan (16x9) but this is a very nice disc and not likely to be revisited soon.

    Since Hunchback and Hercules have poorer PQ, I'd like to only pay $10 used for each, we'll see...

    ===========================

    In general, I'd like to get a good DVD version (16x9 preferably) of each major Disney movie released since 1991 (starting with Beauty & the Beast).

    My wife has all the older movies on VHS and that's fine with me.
     


  9. I found a cheap copy ($8) of the HB2 and thought it was OK.

    It has all the same characters (far as I know) and is a single story (not like Atlantis 2 short-stories 'sequel').

    The disc is 16x9, but the animation is what you would expect for a sequel (not as detailed).

    I also found the story to be fairly interesting...but I have to admit that I picked it up largely because I couldn't find HB1.
     
  10. George_C

    George_C Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're looking for a good price on Hunchback new, go to Target. It's been on sale there for $14.99 for almost a month now, so I don't anticipate that the sale will be around much longer, but it's definately still going as of today.
     
  11. Jim Harvey

    Jim Harvey Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm really worried about the price. I just don't want to buy it, and then find out Disney is actually going to do some sorta of larger DVD set for it. I really liked this movie and I've been putting off buying it becuase I thought I heard rumors of a bigger DVD set for it. I just want to be somewhat safe before I put the money on the counter.
     
  12. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    "The PQ on the DVD is not that great IMHO. It's definitely not a direct from CAPS digital-to-digital transfer as their newer DVDs are."

    Dan is right. It is an anamorphic transfer of an existing interpositive, not a straight digital-to-digital transfer. While certainly not as poor as the transfers of Rescuers Down Under and Pocahontas, there is still ample room for improvement, especially in terms of edge enhancement and film grain.

    "I truly was disappointed in the DVD as this is one of Disney's rare stabs at a more adult oriented film than most of their fare, and one of my favorites (of course, it could have done without the comic relief and side-kicks, but given the politics at Disney I'm not surprised). Hopefully, Disney will stop treating this film like a bastard stepchild and give it a great transfer soon."

    We could maybe expect to see Disney go ahead and make the title a "Masterpiece" release, and make a two-disc DVD with all the deleted scenes and songs featured on their Laserdisc Box Set of Hunchback from many moons ago. In my opinion, the reason we're getting the new "Masterpiece" DVDs of Alice, Pocahontas, and Lilo and Stitch is because much of their bonus features had already been produced. With the exception of the insipid "Virtual Wonderland" nonsense and set-top games, and the "I'm Odd" number, the majority of the bonus features for Alice were ported straight over from the Archive Collection laserdisc box set. Same thing with Sleeping Beauty. Pocahontas should also follow suit (but look for the "If I Never Knew You" sequence to be re-interpoltaed back into the film).

    Hunchback could likely follow, perhaps for a 2006 10th year anniversary re-release with all the extras from the Laserdisc box set ported over to DVD, along with a new transfer.

    Is the film worth a purchase today?

    Hunchback is one of the most visually-stunning Disney films of the 2nd Golden Age. It has its flaws, in the form of the Gargoyles and inappropriate moments of levity within dramatic moments, but the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. This is perhaps the one true modern example of Disney animation trying to push the boundaries of what mainstream audiences would accept from them. There's nothing they've done in the last 15 years that has the same dramatic power and serious adult thematics...when a Disney film begins with a gypsy woman getting killed by a kick to her head, and her murderer contemplating throwing her baby into a well, all under the eyes of God...well, you're not in feel-good Lion King territory anymore. It has a semblance of the darkness of Bambi and Pinocchio and Fantasia, and despite the regrettable attempts at low comedy, it remains a personal favorite.

    The DVD isn't *bad*, it's just not on par with the Platinum releases or the DVD releases of the latest Disney efforts, like Fantasia/2000 or Tarzan or Lilo. If you get a good price on it, pick it up just for the movie. A top-drawer version is inevitable, but you could do a lot worse if you're interested in it.

    Maybe you should just rent it first and see how you like it?
     
  13. Jim Harvey

    Jim Harvey Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I will pick it up. 2006 is a long time to wait for one of my favorite movies. Besides, plunking down $14.66 for it is not too damning.
     
  14. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hercules is Out of Print. Your only shot at picking that title up is e*bay or a garage sale.
     
  15. Jim Harvey

    Jim Harvey Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually have no interest in Hercules. Hunchback... is the one I'm after. Thanks for the tip anyways, though.
     
  16. George_C

    George_C Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Limited Issue version of Hercules is OOP, but the Gold Collection version is still in print, and also available at most retailers, I always see it at Target, but I can't recall if it's on sale right now. The disk content is exactly the same on both versions, the only difference is the case.
     
  17. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,148
    Likes Received:
    1
    Both versions of Hercules are officially out of print. Hercules and Mulan and Pinocchio went OOP the same year as Peter Pan: SE. I saw a DVD of Pinocchio at Circuit City two days ago...doesn't mean it's not OOP just because you saw it in a Target.

    Best,

    ER3
     

Share This Page